‘Rocky Horror Show’ gender-bends into Atlanta
When Out Front Theatre Company kicks off its version of “The Rocky Horror Show” next week, it will use a variety of local drag queens and performers with famous drag personas to play its infamous narrator.
Some of those are Topher Payne as Suzanne Sugarbaker, Tony Kearney – also known as Wild Cherry Sucret – and Joshua Rackcliffe, also known as Brigitte Bidet. The narrators will rotate every night.
When Kearney went to see the company’s “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” last year, he invited the cast to his show Cherry Bomb.
“I told Paul [Conroy, the company’s artistic director] that if he needed anything to let me know,” he said. “When Paul came up with the idea of having drag queens as narrators, I told him I would help him wrangle drag queens.”
Kearney is only doing one show because he is frequently out of town. Along with the other narrators, he went to a rehearsal recently and sat and watched the entire production, giving him a sense of what the show will be like (unlike the actors, the narrators will be reading from a script). He was impressed with what he saw.
“I’ve only seen the musical a handful of times in my entire life. I am so used to the movie version,” he said. “I watched the musical on television and kind of hated it, but I like this because its gender-bending and Frank ‘N’ Furter is a woman. I like that kind of update.”
Rackcliffe also consulted with Conroy last fall.
“We have continued to support each other and talked about working on some shows together,” Rackcliffe said. “He asked me about this and I said definitely.” His Bidet will be there on opening night. “We basically have to remember the lines – although the narrators will be reading off a script – and to have a personality,” he said. “I think it will be a lot like my character – irreverent, sassy, sarcastic. I emcee a lot so I’m used to being on the mic. When I’m given exactly what to say, then I am able to have more fun. I can work on the timing, how I want to deliver it. I want to make people smile. When it’s my time to speak I want
October 13, 2017